Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1, NIV
The tension between us grew like a thick fog.
I loved him so very much, and I knew that he loved me too, yet our love was being sabotaged by an intruder.
This intruder stole more from us then we wanted to give and never repaid what we lost.
This intruder was such a little gadget, but even with its small size, it held such great power!
Interestingly enough, this device did not start out as our enemy. No, it was actually a very helpful tool. It enabled both my husband and me to have the advantage of phone calling, emailing, texting, and Internet access right at our fingertips.
We also had apps available to us that made our daily lives run more smoothly—or so we thought, until this little thing started to inch its way between us by not only minimizing our face-to-face communication but our time spent with one another.
Neither my husband or I saw this gadget as an intruder at first. Something so small and so helpful! It could only be good, right?
But unfortunately, it wasn’t best for us, as it eventually led to much marital disconnectedness. Our phones kept us in a hyper state of running—not just on our feet but in our minds as well.
Much like the preoccupation my husband and I experienced with our cell phones, so too can we be preoccupied with the weights in our lives.
These weights come in all forms and sizes, from busyness to bingeing to burying our feelings. No matter what it is, it keeps us in a state of running—running from what is best!
In Hebrews 12:1, we are encouraged to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us” (NKJV).
Oftentimes these weights that hinder us don’t initially present themselves as intruders or as harmful to us or our relationships.
After much discussion and prayer, both my husband and I made the decision to intentionally lay our intruder aside.
Instead of carrying our cell phones around the house with us, we decided to designate a drawer in our kitchen as their place of rest so we could rest from them and relate to one another in a more attentive way.
When I look back now to that first step of throwing off the weight of our phones, I am amazed at how one simple step, when submitted to the Lord, led to great results!
What is it that God may be calling you to throw off in this new year?
Is it time for a change?
Is there an attitude, activity, addiction, habit, compulsion, or physical item that may be hindering you in some way or getting in the way of your relationship with the Lord?
Long-lasting change cannot come by sheer determination and willpower. Long-lasting change can only come through the transforming power of God and His Word as it touches our hearts.
When we throw off our weights by surrendering them to the Lord and submitting them to His lordship, He divinely adds His supernatural power to our natural power and does extraordinary things!
Let us together run the race of faith with endurance in this new year.
Let us not give up, give out, or give in to the relentless running that occurs when we try to do things in our own power and strength.
Instead, let us run to the One who can bring victory from defeat, wholeness from brokenness, health from sickness, joy from sorrow, abundance from emptiness, strength from weakness, light from darkness, and beauty from ashes.
It’s time to take up God’s invitation to run to Him and, in running to Him, find rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, NIV).
Dear heavenly Father, in this new year I pray that You will give us the ability to throw off the weights that have hindered us and embrace the changes that You want to make in us. We say no to relentless running and instead choose to run to You today. Thank you that You are able to bring victory from our defeat, joy from our sorrow, abundance from our emptiness, strength from our weakness, and beauty from our ashes. We look forward to the great things You have in store for us in this new year, for with You all things are possible, in Jesus’ name. Amen.